National Lisa Day is celebrated annually on December 3. The name Lisa is a derivative of the longer name Elisabeth, which in turn stems from the Hebrew name Elisheba. The meaning of Elisheba is “God is my oath/satisfaction,” hence Elisabeth (or Elizabeth) and Lisa both mean “pledged to God” or “God’s promise,” That’s a promising start indeed. The name is a feminine one, and we have yet to know of any male Lisa. However, there’s no time like the present for that to change, especially given the beautiful meaning the name holds. Perhaps the most famous Lisa ever was the woman painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, whose painting is known the world over as the ‘Mona Lisa’. The woman behind it is Lisa Gherardini, an Italian noblewoman whose portrait her husband commissioned Da Vinci to do, supposedly in celebration of their second child’s birth. Contrary to popular belief, Mona is not her first name, but it is a contraction of the word ‘madonna,’ meaning “my lady” in Italian.
History of National Lisa Day
Sources tell us that it was only in 1886 that the name first made its appearance. By 1954, the name ranked at 73 across the nation of America, and continued to be a very popular name for a couple of decades. As reported by the data of the U.S. Social Security Administration (S.S.A.) in 1962, Lisa was the sixth most popular girl’s name in Alaska that year. The year 1965 had the highest recorded number of Lisas, especially in the state of New York. Clearly, the 60s were a great time to be a Lisa.
There are so many Lisas of renown that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Chronologically, however, one can begin with one of the most famous paintings in the world — the Mona Lisa. Painted between 1503 and 1519 by the Italian painter Leonardo Da Vinci, it has captured the imagination of the world for centuries now. This tiny little portrait is of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a nobleman in Florence, and her enigmatic smile and expression have been an endless topic of debate and discussion. They say the painting is priceless. However, if one were to put a price tag on it, it would be worth approximately $700 million.
Fast forward to the 1990s, when the iconic sitcom “Friends” came out and Lisa Kudrow (better known as Phoebe Buffay to some) was catapulted into fame thanks to the show’s resounding success. In the year 2000, American tennis player Lisa Raymond was ranked number one in doubles worldwide. In total, she has 11 Grand Slam tennis titles under her belt, and is definitely a figure of note especially in the world of doubles tennis. Other Lisas of note include the sole heir to ‘The King’s’ entire estate — Lisa Marie Presley, only daughter of the legend himself, Elvis Presley, and his wife Priscilla. She is also famous for being married at one point to the ‘King of Pop,’ Michael Jackson, so music royalty runs deep in the family. For the younger crowd, aware of the South Korean wave spreading worldwide, there is Lisa from the extremely popular girl group Blackpink. She is a Thai rapper, born Pranpriya Manobal but popularly known as Lalisa Manobal or just Lisa. These are just the tips of the iceberg, which we hope will give you a new appreciation for Lisas everywhere.
National Lisa Day timeline
Elizabeth, mother to John the Baptist, is mentioned in the “Bible,” from which the name Lisa originates.
Commissioned by Italian silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, Da Vinci begins to paint his wife Lisa Gherardini’s portrait, the ‘Mona Lisa.’
The “King of Pop” ties the knot with the daughter of the “King of Rock and Roll.”
Lisa’s lead single music video from her solo album “Lalisa,” garners 73.6 million views within 24 hours of its release.
National Lisa Day FAQs
Why was Lisa such a popular name?
Thanks to Elvis Presley choosing to bestow the name Lisa onto his daughter, the popularity of the name peaked in the 1970s. This was compounded by the hit song ‘Mona Lisa’, released by Nat King Cole. Naturally, the name Lisa is also popular thanks to the painting by Da Vinci — the Mona Lisa.
What is the personality of Lisa?
They say that Lisas are free-spirited and big on personal freedom. This does not detract from their natural common sense, however. They are able to make sensible decisions on the go.
What flower represents the name Lisa?
Since the name has Hebrew roots and can be traced all the way back to Biblical times, we go back to the root name Elisheba. This name is said to be associated with the Lily flower, hence the name Lisa is too.
National Lisa Day Activities
Make a Lisa you know feel special
Since this is a name appreciation day after all, go ahead and make a Lisa you know feel extra special today. With Lisa being a pretty common name, we’re sure you may know at least one. And if not, maybe find a way to express your appreciation for a famous Lisa.
Become inspired to create your own Lisa playlist
We’ve just given you a few suggestions to get you started. This could even evolve into a fun little project on songs with girls’ names in the title. While you’re at it, explore some of the artists called Lisa too.
Play a Lisa-themed pub quiz
For your next pub quiz, or trivia night, why not curate your questions around the name Lisa? You could include Elizabeth too. We’re sure there will be much to find, and it's guaranteed to be intriguing research. Up for the challenge?
5 Songs About Lisa For Any Lisa’s Playlist
The song by Thai rapper, Lisa, has to be mentioned as we’re sure it has you curious!
‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’
The song by American pop-rock band, Panic! At The Disco is just one among many songs inspired by the work of art.
By Yusuf/Cat Stevens, this song has all the feels, and is said to be about his autistic sister.
By Canadian singer-songwriter, Allison Crowe, this song is dedicated to her friend Lisa Young who mysteriously disappeared in 2002.
By popular American artist, Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, this is easy listening with a touch of nostalgia.
Why We Love National Lisa Day
Lisa is a beautiful name
Just as beautiful as its root names — Elisabeth/Elizabeth, the name Lisa is a charming one with a beautiful and timeless meaning. We’re sure it will be a while before this name’s popularity begins to wane. Especially since it is now a unisex name too.
Lisas get special appreciation
Whether it’s renewed admiration for the painting hanging in the Louvre, or reruns of ‘Friends’ — whatever helps you appreciate a Lisa. If you know a Lisa personally, even better. There’s no time like the present to reconnect and let them know what they mean to you.
Wider knowledge of famous Lisas
Honestly, the list of Lisas on Wikipedia itself is so huge, that we’re sure this day could easily be spent Googling these fantastic women. It’s great exposure and a chance to learn something new about someone, who just so happens to have the name Lisa.
National Lisa Day dates